Recent Post -  Patmos Garden From the Archives Desert Island Discs

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Ramsès dans son Harem (Ramses in his Harem) · by Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ, 1881
Egyptomania has been part of cultural European history since the 18th century and earlier, but particularly after the style ‘Retour d’Egypte’ caught on, thanks to a magnus opus -- the prodigious and august DESCRIPTION DE L’EGYPTE PUBLIÉE PAR ORDRES DE NAPOLÉON BONAPARTE - a comprehensive catalogue of antiquities in Egypt.  

Defeated by Nelson, Napoleon withdrew from Egypt in 1799.  The book, however, led to flights of invention and imagination.  There followed - all over Europe – furniture, papier peints [scenes on wallpaper], toile de jouy fabric, clothes and jewellery – ALL INFLUENCED BY EGYPT AND ITS PHAROAHS. 
 Examples of Egyptomania

IN THE 19TH CENTURY, amongst my favourite Egyptomania are the Schinkel sets for Mozart's The Magic Flute.

Verdi’s Aida, an opera staged in Cairo to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1871. 

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1921 led to a new manifestation of  this phenomenon, jewellery by Cartier and much else.

The Carlton Cinema -  Islington, London
Panache, revue du Lido, à Paris, 1985 

Inspiration was taken from Egyptian motifs for a scarf I designed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

POETRY: Osip Mandelstam